How To Promote Fitness In The Workplace
How is your company keeping employees fit? Finding time to exercise can be difficult. One of the ways you can help employees find more time for exercise is by allowing employees to exercise “on the clock” for at least 30 minutes each day.
The main benefits of establishing a culture of fitness in your company? Lower healthcare costs, less absenteeism, less employee stress, better work performance and better teamwork. What’s not to love? Social support is a big component, because when colleagues take part in a fitness program and get to interact with each other in a setting apart from the stress of work, they have conversations they may not have had otherwise in the work environment. They boost each others efforts and help hold each other accountable.
When time is of the essence, the easiest strategy is to break down daily exercise into short, frequent stints throughout the day. Even 10 minutes, 2 to 3 times a day, can be enough to achieve the significant health benefits from physical activity.
Some very simple, low-maintenance workplace fitness tips:
- Encourage walking meetings
- Position printers farther from desks
- Promote taking the stairs and parking farther away
- Set up a company sports team
- Encourage employees to take part in a charity fitness challenge
- Utilize lunch and work breaks for walks or onsite exercise
Workplace Fitness Programs Lead the Pack as a Popular Employee Perk
Research suggests that exercising during working hours can also pump up work performance. A Leeds Metropolitan University study found that workers who engaged in onsite fitness classes or gym during working hours were more productive, managed their time better, and felt more work satisfaction.
While not every organization can afford to build in-house gyms for their employees, onsite fitness programs are springing up all over the country focusing on corporate fitness. Companies can now employ personal trainers who are experienced in running fitness classes for large or small groups of staff – whether that’s an intensive cardio workout, Zumba dance class, or onsite yoga session. Some companies also offer meditation classes and a gentle introduction to exercise such as an “I don’t really want to sweat” class.
One way to get your company started on the road to fitness is by contacting Body Techniques, a national leader of on-site chair massage therapy, yoga, and a full range of onsite fitness programs that provides employees with onsite access to fitness professionals and a diverse library of workouts for all ages and abilities, including boot camps, Zumba, U-Jam Fitness, Yoga and Pilates. Separate groups from different parts of your organization can work out together, and they can even stage a friendly competition against each other for points and prizes.
Body Techniques has found that programs work best when companies:
- Subsidize the full cost of the program. We find these companies view fitness classes as an employee benefit, and as the classes are free to employees, participation is greatly increased.
- Have adequate on-site space for the classes. We will conduct classes of any size, provided the company has a fitness-minded culture. Gym equipment is also helpful, but not required.
Forward-thinking companies are demonstrating what science has proven several times: exercising at work, even without sweat, has huge benefits for productivity and employees’ health and is simple to implement. The benefits you will receive from your employees’ improved health and work performance will more than outweigh the cost of providing onsite corporate fitness programs.
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